Bathtub Refinishing Kit Information
Bathtub Refinishing Kits are one of those products that a lot of D.I.Y people want to try out and possibly it could be right for you. However, before you make that jump let's look at some facts so you can make an informed decision.
Bathtub refinishing kits vs. Professional coatings
Bathtub refinishing kits are selling for approximately $40 - $50 and claim you can refinish an average size bathtub with one kit. The problem with this statement is ... the statement itself. Let me explain, an average size bathtub is what most of us consider as being a bathtub surrounded by three tile walls and having an open front for either shower doors or a shower curtain. What this statement does not take into consideration is the fact that an average size bathtub can be porcelain (which is cast Iron with porcelain baked on), Fiberglass, Acrylic or Cultured Marble.
Each of these surfaces must be prepared for refinishing in a unique way and to simply throw them into a generic group is being extremely unfair to the consumer. An example of this is Porcelain. To refinish porcelain is completely different from refinishing fiberglass. In fact if you prepared the fiberglass bathtub in the same way you prepare a porcelain bathtub you would severely damage the Fiberglass bathtub! In saying that, let me say that the bathtub refinishing kits are not true refinishing but instead, bathtub painting. Paint such as epoxy paint goes on top of the surface and refinishing is a professionally applied coating that is integrated into the old surface. Our job as a professional is to make the two surfaces become one. I started my Bathtub and Tile refinishing business in 1991. In those days we had a ton of different coatings to choose from as long as we chose Epoxy Paint. I'm not being sarcastic the truth is there are different epoxy paints on the market. Some of the best we used at the time were Marine Grade Epoxy paint because it withstood the water and it had a uv protectant that helped it hold up a bit better. The issue was it was still paint and like all paint it was painted on top of the old surface so this meant as soon as water worked under the surface it would bubble and peel! However, with better adhesion promoters that were quickly introduced into our Industry the ability to stick the paint became better but only to the point so that instead of bubbling and peeling large areas it would chip and pit leaving a terrible looking surface and usually only lasting 4 months under daily use.
One of the many other problems we faced was that the epoxy paint would yellow when bleach was used. This is why if you notice the white bathtub refinishing kits look more like almond. I could never get an answer as to why that was but after seeing how they would yellow and the shade of yellow It was easy to conclude the slight almond color would disguise that issue.
Do professionals use bathtub refinishing kits?
As a bathtub refinishing pro since 1991 I can honestly tell you that during my first year of bathtub painting for apartments I did buy several kits. I tried them all to be completely honest. They were convenient and affordable and back then all I did was apartment work and they completely understood it was going to last about 6 months (A lease term) then it was offered as an incentive for the tenant to sign a new lease they could choose bathtub painting, wall painting or carpet cleaning.
Then in 1996 the Industry switched to Aliphatic Acrylic Urethane. This was a definite step up and lasted about a year before it would start to chip and was much more resistant to yellowing. It was an Industrial paint that contained two components much like Epoxy only instead of being mixed in equal portions of paint to hardener it was mixed at 4 parts paint to one part hardener. So it would flex better than Epoxy and for Fiberglass and Acrylic bathtubs it would not crack when the surface flexed under use.
You will still find many bathtub refinishing professionals using this paint and because the price has came down over the years it is still a thorn in the side of bathtub refinishing professionals that want to provide a permanent solution instead of a quick fix.
I started using Synthetic Porcelain in 2001 and the 2nd generation synthetic porcelain when it was available in 2009. It is a synergistic approach that relies on etching the old surface (which is no longer accomplished through harmful acids, instead I use a carbon pad that is machine operated at 2600 RPM's) Etching not only exposes pores but creates microscopic pores in the old surface, this allows the bonding solution called prohesion to be be hand rubbed working it into those pores which bonds on a molecular level so when the synthetic porcelain which contains fiberglass resin and liquid glass is applied using a H.V.L.P sprayer it lays down gently and works into the pores of the old surface. It is available in white and it will not yellow when bleach is used and it will not peel because it is chemically welded into, not painted on top of the old surface!
Bathtub Refinishing Dallas Prices
Today I had a bathtub refinishing project in Mesquite. I met a very nice lady that had a fiberglass bathtub that had become discolored over the years. The house was built in 1998 and fiberglass is bad about scratching and looking "dirty" I told her while I was there I could refinish the tile around the bathtub at no/ charge. There were some minor cracks in the grout between the tile and I told her it would seal the grout so it never mildews and also prevent water from getting behind the tile and damaging the wall. She was very appreciative and loved the finished result.
Bathtub refinishing has so much more to offer than what the name suggest. Not only can bathtub surfaces be restored and made new again but you will find that Tile, grout and standup showers can all be restored.
Unlike bathtub painting with Epoxy paint, bathtub refinishing is both scientific and synergistic in the approach to restoring Bathtub, Tile and shower surfaces.
The science behind bathtub, shower and tile surface restoration is actually remarkable. During the early 2000's an effort was made to develop a coating that could be professionally applied and able to withstand the abuse of different p.h. cleaners and bathing agents, hot water and cleaners used on a daily basis. The result was synthetic porcelain which is a nick name given to polyceramic glass glaze. It is a process that integrates the coating into the old surface and when correctly completed will look absolutely great and last for 20+ years which is the same lifespan as a new porcelain bathtub.
Bathtub zone is owner operated in Dallas,Tx. since 1991.